Tiffany Whitlow Of ‘Love And Marriage Huntsville’ Is On A Mission To Combat Health Inequity

Tiffany Whitlow Of ‘Love And Marriage Huntsville’ Is On A Mission To Combat Health Inequity

“Love and Marriage Huntsville” fans are well aware of Tiffany Whitlow and her ability to stir the pot and ruffle feathers on the hit reality show. But little know the hard work Whitlow does behind the scenes to combat health disparities impacting the Black community.

The OWN star, who recently welcomed her first child with husband Louis Whitlow, is more than just a wife and reality star. Whitlow is also the co-founder of NOWINCLUDED, the online hub and app that serves as a resource and safe space for the Black community to share, learn, and educate others on health inequity and healthcare discrepancies.

Speaking exclusively with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Whitlow got candid about how her experience as a teenage mom served as motivation to co-found the company and how she uses the platform to combat issues involving Black maternal health, and improving accessible healthcare for Black patients.

Can you please share the inspiration behind NOWINCLUDED and how you helped co-found it?

Very early in life, I was adopted into a biracial family. My birth mother gave me up for adoption because of the color of my skin. As I grew up, it was important to me to make sound healthcare decisions, but I couldn’t do that since I didn’t know much about my family’s health history. When I became a mom at 19 years old, it was no longer just about my healthcare decisions; I now had to make decisions for someone else, who was depending on me. I needed to be sure that I was making informed decisions. My son was hospitalized and diagnosed with asthma. He was given the most commonly prescribed drug Albuterol which, unfortunately, is 47% less effective in African Americans and 67% less effective in Puerto Ricans.

That’s just one example of a commonly prescribed drug that is less effective or has negative side effects, due to a person’s ethnicity, which is why our work at Acclinate — and its platform NOWINCLUDED — is so important. I serve as the Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer. Alongside my fellow co-founder Delmonize Smith, CEO, we are working to achieve health equity through inclusive research. We have a shared goal to allow all people the opportunity to make better-informed decisions about treatment options, care and have access to that care. Our company is attracting major support and has received financing and other forms of assistance from Google through its Black Founders Fund. I was also recently honored by World Woman Hour, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, for making significant contributions to health care while serving as an advocate and role model for women. I’m doing all of this without the benefit of having advanced degrees in either science or business, but what I do have is a tremendous drive for turning real-world learning into useful innovation.


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How important is it for spaces like NOWINCLUDED to exist?

For much of history, the Black community and the healthcare community have been at odds. Black voices have been silenced, gone unheard, and even trivialized and dismissed. NOWINCLUDED changes that. This platform is a resource where Black people can make their health a priority which results in a stronger, healthier community of people. More importantly, it is a platform that allows them to share their stories. Storytelling has always lived at the core of Black communities.

From childhood to adulthood to old age, stories have been the backbone of Black communities as a way of passing down and passing around education, wisdom, and even warnings. Until now, there has not been a digital space where Black community members can convene to speak openly and freely and feel empowered in real life. The history of healthcare in the Black community is one filled with mistrust, abuse, discrimination, and even shame. NOWINCLUDED provides a space to rebuild trust, combat abuse, recognize discrimination, and reverse feelings of shame.

Are you seeing a shift when it comes to improved maternal care for Black women?

On April 10th, President Biden officially proclaimed April 11th through April 17, 2023, as Black Maternal Health Week to raise awareness of the state of Black maternal health in the United States. Addressing Black maternal health has been a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations and disproportionately high rates which are 2.5-3 times higher for Black and American Indian and Alaska Native women compared to non-Hispanic whites. I recently became a new mom again after 15 years and was lucky enough to find amazing physicians who took great care of me. But statistically, Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women.

We have a lot of work to do to continue to improve maternal care for Black women. I often used trusted apps like BabyCenter to provide me with week-to-week updates on my baby and apps like Wolomi, along with the maternal health community on our NOWINCLUDED platform to connect with other moms. These apps have communities of women experiencing pregnancy and motherhood in solidarity. They allow open chats to share experiences. Maternal care disparities for Black women have been a longstanding issue in many healthcare systems. These are real advancements and practical ways for us to improve maternal care for Black women.


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How do you think we can continue to work toward improved medical care for the Black community?

In order to improve medical care for the Black community, we must address systemic issues that continue to contribute to health disparities. As a Black-owned company, we found that by offering services like cultural competency training, we can help reduce biases and improve the quality of care provided. This training allows healthcare providers and clinical research study teams to understand the lived experiences and unique needs of the people in the Black communities they are serving. Long-term investments in early community engagement are also important and allow leaders to not only engage in meaningful dialogue but also build trust and involve the community in decision-making processes that relate to healthcare and the policies supporting healthcare.

Through Acclinate’s NOWINCLUDED community, we are focused on educating and engaging diverse communities about clinical research and the need for people of color to participate in clinical research, to ensure drugs are being developed that are more effective for us. NOWINCLUDED’s digital platform helps black communities become better advocates for themselves, and their families, in healthcare settings. On the platform, members have access to educational resources, webinars, healthcare professionals, and a user forum to share first-hand stories and experiences with people they trust. The storytelling component is essential and drives the platform because it is a way for members to identify with people who share similar experiences, learn from the knowledge of others, and connect to the community without judgment or fear. It is also significant because it gives users an active voice where they have been ignored. It is important to recognize that these suggestions are not exhaustive, we all have to work together to overcome the historical medical injustice Black communities have experienced.

How are you balancing being a reality star, wife, and mother of two (congratulations!)?

I just returned from 6 weeks of maternity leave and am just getting adjusted to a new normal. I have two older sons David (15) Lamir (16) so adding Ace (2 months) to the mix has been a real adjustment. If you would have asked me about my plans before I gave birth to Ace I would have responded by saying, “I am not slowing down! I am not taking time off.” Ace forced me to pause and soak up every moment as a new mom. He reminded me that it is ok to not be ok, and this is still something I struggle with. My husband, Louis, has been supportive throughout this process but as the pitching coach at Alabama A&M University, he has been on the road with the team traveling and not home as much as I envisioned. Once his season ends, I will get to experience another new normal by adding him to our daily routines.


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Serving as co-founder of Acclinate and the visionary of NOWINCLUDED is a full-time job. I enjoy every moment and I truly missed work during my maternity leave. It feels good to have a strong team behind something that started out as a dream on a Post-It note. I am so proud of the work our team is doing and because of that, I am able to balance all of the things on my plate. I must mention my family and tribe of friends who constantly support me and my endeavors. Reality TV comes with its own set of priorities and uncertainties but it allows me to reach people on a larger scale. I enjoy reading the stories of people who have felt unheard in the clinical trial industry and now feel seen because people are aware when they watch the show and find out what I do. I enjoy reading people’s health stories and connecting with fans through the NOWINCLUDED platform.

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